Ride the Party Train with These Special Events

The 1880 Train is hosting several special events for wine and/or beer connoisseurs  in August and September, including Rails & Ales, Wine Express and Oktoberfest Express.

Rails and Ales logoNew this year is Rails & Ales which will be held August 27 beginning at 3:30 pm. This event will combine beer tastings from local breweries with a trip on a historic train. Tickets will include live entertainment by the Hill City Slickers and a commemorative glass, as well as beer tastings and tasty food in station and en route. Participating breweries include Crow Peak Brewing Co., Hay Camp Brewing Co., The Knuckle Brewing Co., Lost Cabin Beer Co.and Miner Brewing Co.  Find out more about the rolling pub here!

 

Our tried and true Wine Express is scheduled for September 17 (1:30 pm or 5 pm) and always has something new for those riding on this festive train. It is usually sold out every year, so reserve your spots early! More details coming soon on our website.

Lastly, the Oktoberfest Express will be rolling out of the station on September 24 at 5 pm.  Prior to departure, enjoy live music by Easy Sounds of Rapid City with German cuisine and beer. Get your reservations for this event early as well. More details coming soon on our website.

 

 

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1880 Train’s Prairies to Peaks Summer Camp Will Be a Rail Fan Adventure

Prairie to PeaksThe 1880 Train is hosting the fourth annual Prairie to Peaks Iron Horse Rail Summer Camp  in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) June 6-10 in Hill City, SD. Registration forms and detailed information are available online. The camp is free, and campers are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

DSC_0059The camp’s main purpose is to teach young people, ages 11-15 years, rail safety around highway/rail grade crossings, railroad rights-of-ways, rail equipment and rail operations. In addition, it educates them about the many different crafts that are necessary to operate a railroad and exposes them to the opportunities available in the rail industry.

The camp is free other than transportation to and from Hill City, thanks to many sponsors. Lodging, meals, transportation to Mount Rushmore, admission to the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, bike rentals for exploring the George S Mickelson Trail and a T-shirt are included with the camp.

Campers will arrive on Monday, June 6 and depart on Friday, June 10, with three days of action-packed, educational fun sandwiched in between.

  • They will learn about the many different crafts needed to run the nation’s railroads.
  • They will receive an Operation Lifesaver Presentation and learn about highway/railroad grade crossing safety and about the dangers of trespassing on railroad rights-of-ways.
  • They will learn about highway/rail grade crossing signal systems.
  • After learning about Station Operations, they’ll participate in turning an arriving passenger train to see what it takes to make it ready to head the other way.
  • They will learn about a train’s air braking system and learn how to conduct a pre-departure inspection of a train and the required air brake test.
  • They will learn about railroad freight car safety standards and about safety appliances and how to inspect for and spot defected appliances.
  • They will learn about roadway worker protection rules and track safety standards.
  • They will learn about railroad operating rules.
  • They will learn the fundamentals of a wayside signal system.
  • They’ll conduct an annual inspection of a working, in-service locomotive.
  • They’ll see a cold steam engine get its fire and watch it come up to operating pressure so they can take it for a spin.

There will be fun, too. Campers will enjoy:

  • An evening BBQ right in the middle of a railroad yard and a ride on a steam train.
  • Bike riding on an old railroad bed which has been converted into one of the top ten trails in the world.
  • A Thursday-night trip to Mount Rushmore to view the Evening Lighting Ceremony.

“Registrations have grown each year,” says camp organizer Ken Naylor, who is also a railroad safety specialist/chief inspector with the FRA of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “The 1880 Train is the perfect place in the Black Hills to provide this opportunity for our future railroad fans. We thank all the sponsors who have made this camp possible for the last four years!”

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Remember to “Name That Train”

new-car-1
The 1880 Train/Black Hills Central Railroad (BHC) recently purchased rail car #403, a Jewett-built interurban passenger car, to add to the fleet. It is a fully enclosed car. The BHC is encouraging the public to help find the perfect name for it by entering the “Name That Train” Contest by May 9. More information and contest rules may be found at www.1880train.com. Participation is free.

The winner will be selected by the 1880 Train board of directors and announced on May 21, 2016, during the 1880 Train Appreciation Day at 9:30 am. The winner will receive a 1880 Train Gift Basket, four complimentary train passes to use for any regular train ride during the 2016 regular season AND four Holiday Express passes.

The new car was originally built by the Jewett car company for Bamberger Railroad in Utah in 1910. In 2012, the BHC purchased it from Heber Valley Railroad and sent it to Gomaco Trolley Company in Ida Grove, Iowa, to be reconditioned.

Number 403 arrived in Hill City in late January, 2016, without seats in the car to make the load as light as possible in transit from Iowa to the Black Hills.  The BHC Engine House crew constructed the metal bases and wooden arms for each of the seats. The seat cushions were upholstered in Rapid City and assembled back at the Engine House. The seats are now installed and the car can accommodate 60 passengers.

Restoring rolling stock continues to be integral to the BHC mission. Some of the other cars the railroad has restored and maintain include: Edward Gillette, Keystone, Oreville, Rochford, Hilyo, Redfern, Mystic, Harney Canyon and Blue Bird.  For more on BHC rolling stock, go to our website for a list.

–end–
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All Aboard for the 2015 Holiday Express!

2015 Santa Holiday Express

To jump start the Holiday season, the 1880 Train will host the Holiday Express, beginning November 27. This magical event takes passengers on a journey from Hill City to the North Pole where Santa will be waiting to board the train. Each child will get the chance to meet Santa and receive a small Christmas gift.

Tickets are $28/adult and $12/child (ages 3-12). Online reservations at www.1880train.com are strongly encouraged as this ride fills up fast!

Departure times vary and are listed below:

  • November 27: 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm & 4:15 pm
  • November 28: 12:45 pm & 2:30 pm
  • December 12: 11:00 am, 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm & 4:15 pm
  • December 19: 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm & 4:15 pm
  • December 20: 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm & 4:15 pm
  • December 23: 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:15 pm & 6:00 pm

This ride departs from Hill City and lasts approximately one hour.

While planning your Holiday Express ride, take time to visit the South Dakota State Railroad Museum’s Annual Trees & Trains exhibit, open weekends through the month of December and located next to the Hill City Depot. Times vary and are available at www.sdsrm.org. Admission is $5/adult and kids 12 and under are free. Ticket holders will see Christmas trees decorated by area businesses, scale model trains and historic exhibits.

Contact the 1880 Train office at 574-2222 for more information.

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Take a Magical Ride

Cody LandstromExperience a little magic on the 1880 Train on July 25.

Professional magician Cody Landstrom will entertain passengers on the 1:15 pm and 3:45 pm departures from Hill City for the one day only. His interactive show will combine comedy magic, astonishing sleight of hand and masterful juggling skills.  Advanced reservations for these departures are highly recommended. Regular cancellation policy and 2015 train ride rates apply.

Landstrom is no stranger to the 1880 Train. He worked as a gambler with a few tricks up his sleeve for two seasons in 2010 and 2012.

“I love what I do,” explains Landstrom. “Performing  on the 1880 Train is just plain fun.”

Landstrom has an extensive background as an entertainer and performer. He performed as a professional musician for over 17 years playing guitar, keyboards and mandolin for every imaginable venue, including several years with USO tours. In 1987, he became a member of a vaudeville-style juggling, magic and comedy show that performed all over the west. On his own since 1989, Landstrom has performed for many corporations, events and celebrities.

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A BIG THANK YOU to the Hill City Community Volunteers

AtIMG_0785 the Black Hills Central Railroad, we are so lucky to live in a community where people are always willing to mobilize at a moment’s notice in order to support others with a helping hand. The following people helped us at the 1880 Train to clean up after the flood that went through Hill City on Saturday.

Mike Jacobs of Black Hills Arial Adventures
Jeff AndersonIMG_0787

Rich Jensen
Bob Stanfield
Jim Peterson
CJ Knapp
Shane Alexander
Brent and Twila Morris
Mike Welu
John Talley and crew of Talley Construction
Herman Jones of Stage Coach West
Custer Fire Department and their young recruits
Dan & Stephanie Hunter

THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Meg Warder, President
Black Hills Central Railroad

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Registration Open for Prairie to Peaks Iron Horse Rail Summer Camp

Prairie to PeaksThe 1880 Train is hosting the third annual Prairie to Peaks Iron Horse Rail Summer Camp  in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) June 8-11 in Hill City, SD. Registration forms and detailed information are available online. The camp is free, and campers are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The camp’s main purpose is to teach young people, ages 11-15 years, rail safety around highway/rail grade crossings, railroad rights-of-ways, rail equipment and rail operations. In addition, it educates them about the many different crafts that are necessary to operate a railroad and exposes them to the opportunities available in the rail industry.

The camp is free other than transportation to and from Hill City, thanks to many sponsors. Lodging, meals, transportation to Mount Rushmore, admission to the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, bike rentals for exploring the George S Mickelson Trail and a T-shirt are included with the camp.

“Registrations have grown each year,” says camp organizer Ken Naylor, who is also a railroad safety specialist/chief inspector with the FRA of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “The 1880 Train is the perfect place in the Black Hills to provide this opportunity for our future railroad fans.”

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What is in a Mile? (Mile 3, that is)

Harney Peak

Harney Peak can be seen in the distance while riding on the 1880 Train.

Here’s what you can expect riding the 1880 Train to Mile Post 3:

As you come into Kennedyville and Addie Camp, the gray two-story Kennedy house that once housed the town’s grocery and bar are in the meadow west of the tracks.

Passing through Addie Camp, you can see the grade of the railroad spur that led to the Addie Mine. The Addie Mine main shaft went down 800 feet.

Later down the line, you will see a big, weathered building to the north of the tracks. This is the Good Luck Tungsten Mine, which flourished during both World Wars.

Next you will come to Palmer Gulch, which was the site of placer gold operations in 1875. If you look south, you can see Harney Peak with its stone fire lookout tower at the top. Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet, is the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the Alps.

Check back for what you can experience to Mile Post 4, or see for yourself and reserve a seat on the 1880 Train this season!

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The Focus is on Trains at This Year’s Black Hills Film Festival

cropped-black-hills-film-festival-logoThe 2015 Black Hills Film Festival will be held May 6-10 in Hill City and Rapid City with a Focus  on Trains . . . our favorite subject.  In partnership with the South Dakota State Railroad Museum (Museum) and the Black Hills Central Railroad (BHC), the Festival will feature the role of trains in the life of South Dakotans and in film.

“Trains create a fascinating story line for movies: danger, suspense and romance,” says BHC President Meg Warder. “Movies are a way of keeping the history of railroading alive today for the public. The BHC and Museum are supporting the Black Hills Film Festival to promote trains in all forms of media.”

The BHC has a long history with the movie industry. In fact, a 1970 Gunsmoke episode, a 1971Walt Disney production of Scandalous John and the 1979 CBS production of Orphan Train were filmed in cooperation with the railroad.

More recently, the 1880 Train has been a part of the following productions: South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Dakota Pathways, the Love Train Music Video with Big and Rich, a General Hospital episode, a Discovery Channel production, a History Channel production and more.  The 1880 Train was even featured in the 2005 Into the West miniseries by Steven Spielberg.

Some of the ways the Festival will feature trains include:

TRAINS IN THE MOVIES
Jim Clark, who coordinated the train scenes featuring the 1880 Train in Into the West, will give a short history of trains in the movies and explain the technical aspects of working with trains. Clark is a veteran of over 250 films. His association with some of the biggest train films and stars in Hollywood, including The Lone Ranger; Wild, Wild, West; Under Siege Two; Fast and the Furious; Water For Elephants; and Into The West and film clips of two dozen action sequences will leave you breathless.
Saturday May 9, 3:15 pm Hill City High School Theatre, Hill City, SD. 

THE TRANSCONTINENTAL UNION PACIFIC IN TERRITORIAL TIMES  Director of the South Dakota State Railroad Museum Rick Mills will discuss the development of Dakota’s railroading since the 1860s, including the cultural changes in Dakota Territory in that time and what influences railroading today.  Historical images, as well as a selection of contemporary railroad photography, will be featured in the program. Sunday May 10, 1 pm South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Hill City, SD

THE SHOWING OF UNION PACIFIC One of the last bills signed by President Abraham Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. Financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows’ agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau’s partner Dick Allen is Butler’s war buddy and rival suitor for the engineer’s daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost? Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea make an incredible on-screen duo as co-stars, and the train wreck is impressive.
Sunday, May 10, 1:30 pm South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Hill City, SD

Purchase Session Tickets for these activities for $10 the day of the presentation or sessions are included at no extra charge with the purchase of any Festival Pass. Visit the website at www.blackhillsfilmfestival.org for more information. The Black Hills Film Festival showcases the newest voices in independent film, but it also provides structured classes and forums for film artists to sharpen their craft and share their skill. Classes are taught by notable film professionals and are free to participating filmmakers.

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What’s in a Mile?

routemapHere’s what you can expect riding the 1880 Train to Mile Post 2:

At the top of Tin Mill Hill you can see the grade of the Tin Mill Railroad spur that led to the west to the tin mill. (This is at your left if traveling eastbound.)

Check back for what you can experience to Mile Post 3, or see for yourself and reserve a seat on the 1880 Train this season!

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